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Old March 28, 2013, 06:07 PM   #1
Nick S.
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Which cal. Hawkens?

Thinking about getting a Hawkens just for target shooting (bench). I was thinking .50 cal. Is one caliber more accurate than another? A friend of mine thinks a ban on any firearm over .50 cal. is in the governments master plan in the future. Also, new or used? What do I look for when examining a used one?
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Old March 28, 2013, 06:53 PM   #2
Rigmarol
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Personally, I chose a .50cal. and I'm not sorry.
When looking at used rifles, go over the wood extremely close. Look for cracks and repairs. If it's your first one, walk away on anything that looks like it broke and was repaired. Later on, these are good for project guns and can be had for a good deal if you work it to your advantage but for the first gun, don't mess with it.

Bring a strong penlight with you to look down the barrel. If you see more than bright shinie metal and a clean rifled barrel, turn it down. No pits, or debris for you. Black powder is corrosive and if the owner didn't put the gun away clean and is showing it to sell with a dirty or messed up barrel, it's not for you.

Is this a flint lock or a cap lock rifle?
Either way, have him show you it works by setting off a cap or two or sparking the flint.

Accessories, if he has goodies, ask for them!!! Work the deal to include them or get them at a reduced add on price.
Powder measure
Powder flask
Patch knife
Possibles bag
extra balls/patches and POWDER!

Good luck.
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Old March 28, 2013, 07:38 PM   #3
Pahoo
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Welcom aboard !!!

Quote:
Thinking about getting a Hawkens just for target shooting (bench).
What a great question and you have a bunch of great guys, in here, that can help you all the way. If you are going to be on the bench, then I'd get a .45 or .40 if you can find one. Most of what you will see, have fast twists, in the 1:48 range but I prefer the slower twist for round ball. The biggest point, is to check the bore with a Bobber-Light. Light rust or dirty barrel is not a big problem as they will clean out and shoot just fine. When looking down the bore, make sure it's still deep and all the way to the crown. There are many bore with no sign of rifling, in the crown area. Check your nipple/snail or drum /nipples areas to make sure that there is no excessinve pitting. Pitting in these external areas are an indication of trouble in the bores. Take time for a good visual inspection. Let the gun talk to you as it will reveil it's conditon. ...

If it's an older one, really check the operation of the lock as the tumbler and sear, may be worn. .....

More to follow and
Be Safe !!!
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:21 PM   #4
Nick S.
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Thanks

I used to shoot black powder back in the mid 70s. I joined a bi-centenial group in my town & was a musket man, light infantry. Still have my Brown Bess & uniform ( 42nd Royal Highland Reg. Afoot , aka The Black Watch). Still have powder horns, measuring spoon, etc. but it's been 30 years. Got back into shooting when I retired, shotgun, & a Henry Rifle. Then I got to talking with the muzzle loader guys at my range. They let me load & fire a few rounds & that's all it took to get re-hooked again. I hear only good things about the Hawkens but there's so many styles and calibers, and lengths of barrels. There's new ones in the local gun stores so I guess I'll start there.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:01 PM   #5
DJEInConcord
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Fifties are far easier and cheaper to get ammo for. If you going to be buying bullets instead of casting your own get a fifty.

The .45s are easier to shoot, and the .40s are easier still and are considered more accurate by a lot of knowledgeable shooters. But a .40 would mean casting your own balls or bullets, or you might struggle to find them as they are more rare.

Some states have a minimum size for deer and big game hunting usually around .45 for good reason.

Recoil is an issue. I have .54s and they let you know it every time. Kills on one end and maims on the other!
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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.54
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:33 AM   #7
noelf2
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Mine's a .50
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:56 AM   #8
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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My Hawken is A Thompson Center. I have barrels for 40 45 and 50 cal. Mine is
Just for target shooting. I like 45 the best. If I was hunting, I think I would
Go with the 54.
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:57 AM   #9
PetahW
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If you research caplock rifle target shooting from the 1800's, you'll find out that not many were shooting bores as large as a .50, most likely because it's quickly tiring, and even more likely, more expensive than a smaller caliber.

The target guns almost invariably had bull barrels.

.40 & .36 (which can use buckshot) calibers were lighter on both shoulders & wallets.
Some today use a .32, but that bore is too small for my fat fingers to handle easily. YMMV.

Holy Black & lead PRB's (patched round balls), in a slow twist barrel, is the path to accuracy.

I highly recommend a read of "The Muzzle-Loading Caplock Rifle", by Ned Roberts - it's a classic book that will edukimate anyone interested in shooting targets with a frontstuffer.





.
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Old March 29, 2013, 09:44 AM   #10
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Nice T/C hawken rifle being sold right here on TFLF. All fitted out for target shooting like you would want one to be. Troutcreek who owns it appears to be open for discussion on its price. Decent price as is.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=39
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Old March 29, 2013, 09:53 AM   #11
4V50 Gary
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50 cal or even 45 cal if it's just for bench shooting. Smaller balls are cheaper or if you cast, you get more per pound.

Another vote for Ned Roberts' book, The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle. I couldn't put that book down.
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Old March 29, 2013, 11:55 AM   #12
Nick S.
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Sure shot Mcgee, I'm clicking on your link but I don't see the Hawken rifle. What page is it on?
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Old March 29, 2013, 12:21 PM   #13
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=520669

Here you go this one should bring the add up for you. If anything you might want to PM Troutcreek to see if its still available?

Postscript: Oops! Someone just put a lock on the add so that rifle must have been sold or its owner change his mind about selling. Sorry about that Nick S. But we'll still keep you in mind if another shows up. BTW my bad Sir. It's wasn't a Hawken but a Renegade model troutcreek had advertized to sell..

S/S

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; March 29, 2013 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Update add was locked /closed
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Old March 29, 2013, 12:35 PM   #14
Rifleman1776
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What do you mean when you say "hawken"?
Are you referring to a factory made gun that is almost nothing like a real Hawken but is called that by the marketing department? Or are you considering a fine custom made Hawken replica?
By target shooting do you mean bench rest, chunk gun, buffalo matches or offhand?
For all but offhand, I would reccomend the .50 as it has good wind resistance but mild recoil. It uses less lead and powder than bigger calibers. Recoil can be very tiring, even if not punishing, for an all day competition.
For offhand the .45 and .40 would be a good choice but could make it a bit barrel heavy if the barrel is very long.
In all cases I have mentioned, the 1:48 twist will work just fine. If you are going to longer ranges as for silhouette matches and such the 1:66 will handle heavier charges better.
The .50 is popular these days because it is a comprimise.
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Old March 29, 2013, 04:46 PM   #15
Nick S.
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Sounds like I'm going with the .50 cal. I'll probably cast my own lead balls. I have 100s of pounds in lead sinkers I collect off the wrecks while scuba diving. I've already cast all my own dive weights for myself ,family & friends. Just have to make sure I get the right sized bullet mold. Most of the time I shoot at the local town range because I bought the yearly pass. It's a 50 yard range but you can set the targets closer if you want. There's also 100 yd ranges further out on the Island if I want to pay extra & drive further away. Now I'll make some phone calls.
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Old March 29, 2013, 08:57 PM   #16
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I'm still trying ball and patch and load combos. Buy a couple of lee moulds to start with.
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Old March 29, 2013, 11:59 PM   #17
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Re: Which cal. Hawkens?

I've been very happy with my 50. I wanted a larger caliber to begin with, but it is nice being able to get my bullets at major retailers if I need to.
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Old March 30, 2013, 01:46 AM   #18
kwhi43@kc.rr.com
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This is to give you encouragement . These Hawken's will shoot. This at 100yds.
This is from a sand bag rest. Open sights. Shot in 2006. 45 cal barrel
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Old March 30, 2013, 08:07 PM   #19
Nick S.
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I am encouraged. You should frame that.
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Old March 30, 2013, 10:37 PM   #20
chickenmcnasty
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Re: Which cal. Hawkens?

I would be very happy with that at 50. Amazing!
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Old April 4, 2013, 05:48 PM   #21
Nick S.
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Made a few phone calls & visited a few shops. Nothing out there on Long Island. The shop I went to today said someone was in last week wanting to sell one but was very rusted, pitted & looked like it was used & never cleaned. Shame. Should I go for broke & order one from Cabellas?
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Old April 5, 2013, 11:56 AM   #22
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Just a thought.

You might consider watching Track of the Wolf's web site. Occasionally they sell used T/Cs and Lyman rifles reasonably priced. They also post pictures of those used rifles they have up for sale on their site. Or you can buy a new Lyman rifle there as well at competitive prices.
You can be assured a used rifle for-sale at Track gets a pretty good look-over first before being advertized and photographed.
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Old April 5, 2013, 12:28 PM   #23
Nick S.
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Just checked out Track Of The Wolf website. Nice stuff but I didn't see anything is 50 cal & percussion. I'll keep checking from time to time. Thanks.
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